Trivia / Trading Places

  • Actor Allusion: When Louis is arrested, one of the cops individually inspects each of his possessions, states what it is aloud, and then places it in a cardboard box. The cop is played by Frank Oz, who did the exact opposite (taking items out of the box and returning them to the protagonist) in The Blues Brothers.
  • Career Resurrection: The film completely resurrected the 75-year-old Don Ameche's film career, which had essentially ended in 1949. He had only appeared in five films in the interim with the last one being in 1970. He won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his next film Cocoon and worked steadily until a month before his death in 1993.
  • Contractual Purity: As noted below, Jamie Lee Curtis was typecast as the wholesome Final Girl in horror movies. So playing a prostitute who bears her breasts broke her out of that.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • A scene in the movie not included in the final cut but seen frequently when the movie is shown on television (presumably to fill a longer time slot with commercials) occurs after Clarence Beeks talks to the Dukes via telephone and Billy Ray eavesdrops on their scheme. In the original cut, Beeks goes from the phone booth to the Amtrak train platform, holding the briefcase with the crop report. In the added scene, we see Beeks procure the reports from a secured vault where he pays off a security guard and opens a safe-deposit box.
    • In another cut scene, when Billy Ray Valentine arrives at Duke and Duke on his first day of work. Folsey greets him just as he did Winthorpe in the beginning and asks for his Coat, scarf, and gloves. All of the same people say good morning to Valentine that said good morning to Winthorpe.
  • Development Gag: Former Nixon aide and Watergate felon G. Gordon Liddy was approached to play the part of Clarence Beeks. In the movie, Beeks is shown reading Liddy's autobiography Will on the train.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Mortimer Duke is an elitist, arrogant, racist villain. Don Ameche meanwhile hated swearing so much he only agreed to one take of his famous Precision F-Strike at the end. He was also uncomfortable saying the racial slurs his character required, with Eddie Murphy having to re-assure him "It's okay it's just a movie."
  • Playing Against Type: Before this, Jamie Lee Curtis mostly played the Final Girl in slasher movies, and therefore the good wholesome character. She deliberately took the role to break away from this type of casting.
  • Real-Life Relative: Jamie Lee Curtis' sister Kelly has a small part in this movie. She plays the debutante "Muffy", serenaded with several other girls by the rich boys in the scene where Winthorpe is begging for his friend's re-acceptance.
  • Technology Marches On:
    • The plan at the end would only work in the days before computer trading.
    • Louis boasts that his watch is waterproof to three atmospheres. Nowadays watches can be waterproofed to 50 atm.
  • Those Two Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Aykroyd would later work together on Christmas with the Kranks and the two My Girl movies.
  • Throw It In:
    • When Randolph tosses Mortimer's money clip back, Don Ameche bounces it back and forth a couple of times before catching it.
    • Ophelia's "Swedish" disguise came about because Jamie Lee Curtis couldn't do the correct Austrian accent.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The shots of the World Trade Center (including a ground-perspective shot of how tall the towers were) cast a bit of a shadow on an otherwise fresh, entertaining comedy.
    • A lot of what goes down at the stock market in this movie is also not possible now thanks to computers, and the loopholes exploited have been closed up. One of them is even called "The Eddie Murphy Rule".
  • What Could Have Been:
  • Working Title: Black and White.


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